Growing up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, Paul Szabo is of Hungarian, Polish, French, and American Indian descent and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. He attended Todd County High School in Mission, SD. He went to college at Dakota State University, Madison, SD, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a major in history and a minor in art. He taught social studies, art, and photography for ten years in and around the Rosebud area. In 1991, Szabo resigned from teaching and dedicated himself full-time to his art.
Renowned for his ability to fuse modern metalsmithing techniques with traditional Plains Indian imagery, his work radiates with simple elegance in both design and purpose. Paul is best known for his metal overlay technique. A self-taught artist, he is inspired by Hopi metalsmiths and their approach to the medium.
Through developing his own artistic style, Szabo expresses Lakota culture and religion with unique symbolism. He uses his art to educate people about Northern Plains Indian culture, making it appealing to all people.